GAME STORY: Wylie girls pick up much-needed win over LHS to kick off doubleheader sweep

Off to an 0-3 start to District 4-5A play and hosting a quality Lubbock High squad, the Wylie girls basketball team found itself in a near must-win situation Tuesday at Bulldog Gym.

And with their backs against the wall, the Lady Bulldogs responded exactly the way coach Amy Powell had hoped they would.

Following a 16-9 second-quarter run to build a 26-17 halftime lead, WHS used a strong defensive effort to keep the Lady Westerners at arm’s length the rest of the night, scoring a 50-38 win to set the stage for a doubleheader sweep of LHS.

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GAME STORY: Eagles top San Saba in overtime thriller

GOLDTHWAITE — Beating an archrival can have enough meaning on its own. But when its in overtime for sole possession of first place in the district standings, you’re talking about a special evening for the victor. 

The Goldthwaite boys got a taste of that on Tuesday, knocking off longtime rival San Saba 52-48 in overtime to remain unbeaten in District 29-2A with seven games left to play. 

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FEATURE: Brownwood’s Goodwin prefers team wins over individual stats

Tessa Goodwin’s individual statistics aren’t as impressive as last season when the Brownwood forward made all-state, but the Class 4A Lady Lions are enjoying a better season and are in line to return to the playoffs.

And that’s just fine with Goodwin.

“I realized this year that other teams were going to have two or three players doubling up on me inside,” the 5-foot-10 senior said. “We’ve got some veteran 3-point shooters this year like Mady Pyle and Kassidy Wooten and Naysa Leach. If their doubling up on me, our 3-point shooters are open. That’s less of a hassle for me, and it helps the team.”

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Cross Plains’ Shepard takes the top spot

 

In a week that featured several noteworthy performances, our selection of the Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week was a difficult one this time around. 

In the end, our pick was Cross Plains junior guard Abbigale Shepherd, who took the accolade for the week ending Jan. 15. But it wasn’t her scoring average of 22 points per game in wins over Rising Star (67-20) and Moran (76-17) that did it. 

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FEATURE: Stamford girls still thriving under new coach and new tactics

Joe Crabb knew he was inheriting a talented girls basketball team when he became Stamford’s coach over the summer.  

But Crabb had no idea the profound impact the Lady Bulldogs would have on him in such a short amount of time.

“It’s a special, special group to me. I’ve liked all my kids I’ve ever coached, but I feel like we’re a really close group,” Crabb said. “It’s been a blast. They’ve given me a new lease on life, rejuvenated me for sure.”  

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DANIEL YOUNGBLOOD: This week in Big Country boys basketball (Jan 17-23)

With all of the area’s boys teams now in district play, we’ve hit the most fun stretch of the high school basketball season. From here on, every game matters as squads battle it out in an effort to make — and later, advance in — the playoffs.

With the season heating up, it’s time to start taking a deeper look at the what our area’s boys teams are up to, and that’s just what we’ll be doing until season’s end in this weekly column. In highlighting the top matchups of the coming week and the top results of the previous one, we’ll let you know the games and teams we’re keeping an eye on — and some you might want to as well.

We hope you enjoy our first installment of This Week in Boys Basketball.

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EVAN REN: This week in Big Country girls basketball (Jan. 17-23)

With all things pertaining to area football completely behind us, it is now time to focus a laser beam on Big Country hoops. And with district races heating up, there are plenty of things to keep an eye on. 

Each week until season’s end, this column will take a look at some of the top area matchups on the horizon, along with the top games from the previous week and its most surprising result.

That’s said, let’s dive in to our first installment of This Week in Girls Basketball. 

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FEATURE: Hurtado sisters may vary in terms of style and personality, but the results are the same

CISCO — One is strictly by the book. The other enjoys straying from the path from time to time just to keep things lively.  One is an inside-outside dual threat.  The other is strictly an inside power player. 

And yet, they’re sisters. 

At the end of the day, however, Cisco’s Sophia  and Brooklyn Hurtado are both good, they’re both tall (standing 6-2 and 6-3, respectively) and they’re smart enough to create a serious matchup problem for any team the Lady Loboes face.

“In 17 years of coaching, I’ve never had this sort of height to coach — especially two of them,” Cisco coach Brent Kilpatrick said. “It’s been challenging and fun. It’s been a good problem to have, but it’s also challenging — figuring out how to incorporate those two.” 

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LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: Cooper, Wylie boys open District 4-5A play with victories

LUBBOCK — Led by forward Jaelyn Rivera, who dropped a career-high 28 points on Tuesday, the Cooper boys basketball team opened District 4-5A play with a 63-51 over Lubbock High, improving to 14-7 with the victory.

Rivera accounted for 12 of the Cougars’ 25 field goals and went 4 of 5 from the free-throw line to lead a list of three Cooper players in double figures. Jalen Cherry hit four 3-pointers on his way to 16 points while Colin Reed finished with 10.

Continue reading “LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: Cooper, Wylie boys open District 4-5A play with victories”

GAME STORY: Greathouse’s late bucket fuels Big Spring boys to thrilling win at Snyder

SNYDER — Tied with Snyder after his technical foul allowed the Tigers to even things up with just over 40 seconds remaining Tuesday, Big Spring guard Gavin Greathouse could have allowed that momentary lapse to be his final impression on the game. 

Instead, the senior followed the miscue with one of the biggest shots of his career. 

With the game still deadlocked more than 30 seconds later, Greathouse dribbled himself free for a 17-foot jumper that hit nothing but net on the way down, giving the Steers a 46-44 lead with 4.4 seconds remaining. And after a series of timeouts, the Big Spring defense did the rest, securing a win by the same score to complete a doubleheader sweep at Tiger Gym.

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GAME STORY: Goldthwaite boys remain undefeated in District 29-2A

GOLDTHWAITE — The Goldthwaite Eagles can’t be labeled as offensively challenged as long as they keep shooting 3-point shots the way they did this week.

Goldthwaite beat the Harper Longhorns 61-33 in District 29-2A Friday night, and for the second game in a row, the Eagles made 12 3-point shots. On Friday, senior guard Jackson Patrick made five 3-pointers – every field goal he made was a trey – and freshman guard Luke Sanderson added four 3-point shots. Brothers Collin and Seth Gardner combined to make the other three treys.

Patrick and Sanderson each scored 18 points as Goldthwaite (12-10 overall) improved to 4-0 in district and set up a showdown Tuesday against San Saba (12-7, 4-0) for the 29-2A lead. San Saba is the two-time defending district champion, and Goldthwaite finished second last year.

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GAME STORY: Hot-shooting Eagles, sharp-dressed coaches pick up much-needed win over MHS

With his team coming off back-to-back losses to open District 2-6A play, Abilene High boys basketball coach Justin Reese felt he needed to shake things up heading into Tuesday’s home matchup against Midland High.

So naturally, as a superstitious former athlete, he chose to focus on the area most likely to impact the Eagles’ play in a positive manner — coaching staff wardrobe.

Trading in their khakis and polo shirts for suits, Reese and his assistants got just the results they were looking for as Abilene High knocked down 15 3-pointers in a 65-40 wire-to-wire win over the Bulldogs.

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GAME STORY: Merkel boys, Jim Ned girls claim wins in key District 6-3A doubleheader

MERKEL — Merkel’s Ryder Hoyle had perhaps the play of the game Tuesday night against district rival Jim Ned, and it wasn’t even one that added points to the scoreboard.

Instead, his rotation from the backside allowed him to make a thunderous block on a second-quarter dunk attempt and propelled the Badgers to a 42-37 win over the Indians in a thrilling District 6-3A matchup on Tuesday night.

After the game, Merkel coach B.C. Lee gushed over Hoyle and his block, which helped move MHS into at least a three-way tie for the district lead after two weeks.

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CAPITAL FARM CREDIT/BCP PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Snyder senior takes first award of 2021

With our the Capital Farm Credit/BCP Player of the Week taking a two-week hiatus for the holidays, we extended our normal range of eligibility to include events that occurred over Christmas break. 

That left us with a lot of possibilities to sift through before Snyder’s Eber Murillo emerged as the area’s top performer between Dec. 20 and Jan. 8. 

You’d better get the calculator out. 

Through the holidays, the senior forward had 39 points and 12 boards in a win over Brownwood, 25 points and seven rebounds in a loss to Amarillo Caprock and 11 points and nine boards in a loss to Class 6A Abilene. To this, he added 38 combined points (rebounds unavailable) in wins over Fabens and Lubbock. 

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EVAN REN’S 2021 TRUE GRIT TEAM: The toughest, hardest-working players in the Big Country!

Most high school football teams have that one player acknowledged by the coaching staff as the prime example of what a teammate should be. 

He’s the guy who seldom misses any practice time and is a regular in the weight room. He’s early to arrive. He’s late to leave, takes pride in being coachable but seldom needs direction. 

He always sets the right example for younger players. He doesn’t gripe and, above all else, he’s tough enough to make all the aforementioned traits possible. 

Know someone like that? Here is where they are honored. 

Welcome to Big Country Preps’ “True Grit” team — a collection of area players nominated by their head coaches, who exemplify the character traits football mentors want throughout their roster. 

Not all of them are great players. In fact, many of them will never play a down of college football. But every single one of them is making the most of their high school football experience and has helped those around them do the same.

We are absolutely honored to present these young men to you — the toughest, hardest-working football players the Big Country had to offer in 2021. 

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All-Big Country Preps Football Team: Rising Stars Team

Here are our selections for the 2021 All-Big Country Preps Rising Stars Team — an honor reserved for the area’s top freshman and sophomore football players. For the rest of this year’s selections, click the links below.

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GAME STORY: Assistant Carroll coaches Wylie boys to come-from-behind win over Aledo

Playing without head coach Gregg Ruffin and assistant Jody Harvey, who were unavailable for Friday’s nondistrict game against Aledo, the Wylie boys basketball team still managed to outlast the Bearcats for a 42-33 victory at Bulldog Gym.

With assistant Seth Carroll stepping in as acting head coach, the Bulldogs overcame a nine-point first half to take control of the game in third quarter, before holding off a late challenge in the fourth to improve to 12-11 on the season.

Wylie, which was was also without guards Dylan Jennings and Kazion Brown, outscored Aledo 19-2 in the the first eight minutes out of halftime to turn a 17-9 deficit at the break into a 28-19 lead by the start of the fourth quarter.

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LOCAL HOOPS ROUNDUP: Cooper, Wylie girls fall in District 4-5A openers

The Cooper and Wylie girls basketball teams both opened District 4-5A play with losses Friday, as the Lady Cougars fell 66-50 to No. 8 Lubbock Cooper and the Lady Bulldogs were beaten 58-40 by Lubbock Monterey.

Those results put district favorites Lubbock Cooper and Monterey in a first-place tie with Lubbock High, which downed Lubbock Coronado 49-42 Friday night, while Abilene Cooper, Wylie and Coronado are a game behind in a tough six-team district.

Cooper will travel to Monterey for a difficult road test and Wylie will play at Coronado when league play resumes on Tuesday.

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GAME STORY: Jim Ned sweeps Wall in District 6-3A action

TUSCOLA — The Jim Ned boys basketball team held Wall scoreless for almost the first six minutes of the second half as part of a 21-4 run as the Indians took down the Hawks 55-49 in District 6-3A play Friday at Bill Thornton Arena.

Ben Eshelman had a game-high 19 points for the Indians, who won their first matchup against the Hawks under first-year head coach Blake Allen.

A Jim Ned graduate who has played in the rivalry and was an assistant coach under Eric Phelps prior to this year, Allen said being the one roaming the sidelines was a different feeling than he’s had before.

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BEST OF THE CAPITAL FARM CREDIT WEDNESDAY NIGHT PODCAST: Stephenville’s Sterling Doty

With Evan and Dan taking a brief holiday break from the Podcast, Big Country Preps will be rereleasing two of its more interesting shows from 2021 during their hiatus.  The Capital Farm Credit Wednesday Night Podcast will return with a new release on Jan. 12.
TONIGHT: Stephenville football coach Sterling Doty talks Yellow Jacket football with Evan and Dan.  ORIGINAL RELEASE DATE: 11-24-21. 

GAME STORY: Down two coaches, Cisco sweeps Haskell in hoops doubleheader

CISCO — With girls coach Brent Kilpatrick and boys coach Kevin Hearne both out due to illness, it was up to a pair of understudies to guide the CHS varsity teams through a district doubleheader with Haskell on Tuesday. 

Jack Eison took the clipboard for the Cisco girls, who opened the evening with a 57-48 win, after which former Cisco football standout Colton Kent grabbed the reins for the boys in a 66-30 win in the nightcap. 

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GAME STORY: Late rally lifts Cooper girls over Stephenville in nondistrict thriller

Trailing Stephenville 49-44 with less than 40 seconds remaining, the Cooper girls basketball team appeared to be headed for a hard-luck loss to the No. 21 team in Class 4A on Tuesday at Cougar Gym.

But in a game chock full of extended runs and wild momentum swings, the Lady Cougars had one more rally left in them.

CHS closed the game with six consecutive points — the final four on pressure-packed free throws by Karrigan Parrott — to claim a thrilling 50-49 win in its final nondistrict game before opening District 4-5A play against eighth-ranked Lubbock Cooper on Friday.

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GAME STORY: Cooper boys pull away for nondistrict road win at Sweetwater

SWEETWATER — The Cooper boys basketball team outscored Sweetwater 40-20 over the middle two quarters Friday to overcome a slow start and pull away for a 70-49 nondistrict win over the Mustangs.

Playing an SHS team that was coming off a tournament championship in Anson, the Cougars led their Class 4A foe by just two points (15-13) after one quarter. But coach Bryan Conover’s squad used a 24-6 run through the second period to take a 20-point lead into halftime and was never threatened after that.

The victory moved Cooper to 11-7 on the year and improved the Coogs to 3-1 since returning from the Christmas break. CHS went 2-1 at the Snyder tournament earlier this week, defeating Snyder (45-36) and Fabens (59-32) before falling by seven to Amarillo Caprock.

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PHOTO GALLERY: Anson Holiday tournament (222 images)

Digital photos, prints and keepsakes may be purchased by clicking on the “Buy on SmugMug” link below a selected photo. The “BigCountryPreps.com” watermark will be removed from all purchased photos.

Anson Holiday Tournament 222 images featuring:
Boys teams: Anson, Roscoe, Gunter and Sweetwater.
Girls teams: Roscoe, Seymour, Anson, Idalou

Continue reading “PHOTO GALLERY: Anson Holiday tournament (222 images)”